Author Jane Godwin and illustrator Anna Walker visit our girls to talk about their collaborative story making processes.

Visits from authors and illustrators are always such exciting events, and invariably our students come away inspired to write, draw and create stories. On March 6, the Barbreck Library invited author Jane Godwin and illustrator Anna Walker to visit our girls and talk about their collaborative story making process. The focus of their visit was their latest book – Go Go and the Silver Shoes – and we were lucky enough to get a behind the scenes look at how the book was created, including seeing actual drafts and original collages and watercolours.

Our Junior School girls are already very familiar with Jane and Anna’s work – the two have collaborated on some very well-known and popular picture books, including Today We Have No Plans, All The Year Through, and Little Cat and the Big Red Bus.

Jane spoke about the way she writes her stories and gave us an insight into where she gets her ideas. Stories can come from anywhere; our experiences, our observation and our imagination. Both Jane and Anna are storytellers ‘on the go’ and one of the things our girls found most intriguing were the little books that they carry with them wherever they go – Jane’s full of scribbled notes and Anna’s full of tiny sketches and watercolours.

Anna spoke extensively about her creative process as an illustrator and showed us her method of creating illustrations, which included delicately cut and layered paper collages. We love Anna’s work so much that we chose one of her illustrations from Florette as our Book Week artwork purchase in 2017, and with that artwork proudly hanging on the wall of the Barbreck Library, it was wonderful to have the illustrator herself running a workshop where the students drew funny birds in the shape of fruit and girls with winged boots.

Visits from professionals like this not only inspire our girls, but highlight the importance of risk taking, collaboration and embracing individual creativity in the creative process.

We are looking forward to seeing what kind of story this dynamic duo create next!


Ms Kathryn White, Head of Educational Resources and Information Centre